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The best web hosting services in 2019

Best web hosting service in 2019 [Image: Pixabay on Pexels]
(Image credit: Pixabay on Pexels)

Looking for the best web hosting services in 2019? You're in the right place. User-friendly, reliable, attractive websites don't just appear out of thin air; web hosting services are doing all the heavy lifting behind the scenes. Whether you're a web designer or developer looking for the best web hosting deals, or an illustrator who has decided to boost their business with a dedicated custom portfolio, you'll need a web hosting service. 

Figuring out the best service for your needs can be confusing, so we've reviewed all the leading choices to give you a clear view of your options. Many of the choices here include integrated features to help you build your site, but if that's your focus take a look at our guide to the best website builders.

The best web hosting services: Top 5

01. InMotion Hosting
02. Bluehost
03. HostGator
04. GoDaddy
05. 1&1 IONOS

Read on for an in-depth look at what each service offers

In this guide, we've stripped away the jargon and condensed the complex spec sheets into easy-to-scan profiles, so you can easily navigate and compare the best web hosting services with ease.

We've considered a range of situations here. If you're a freelancer looking for a website on a budget, shared web hosting might be sufficient. Those needing something more flexible might want to opt for VPS hosting. Finally, if you're running a bigger operation and need a service that includes all the bells and whistles, you'll want a dedicated server

If you're not sure which is the best level for you right now (or for where you want to be in the future) – you’ll find a detailed explanation of the different tiers at the bottom of this guide.

Or read on for our pick of the best web hosting services, no matter the size of your website or budget. 

Our sister site TechRadar has negotiated some extra discounts on these web hosting services. Creative Bloq readers can also take advantage of these deals.

Best web hosting: InMotion Hosting

01. InMotion Hosting

The best overall shared web hosting

Domains: 1 | Number of sites: 2-unlimited | Bandwidth: Unlimited | SSL: Included | Email addresses: Unlimited

Impressive performance
Very good tech support
cPanel and Softaculous-powered hosting

The best web hosting service right now is InMotion Hosting, thanks to excellent performance, great features, and helpful tech support. InMotion has been around since 2001, and is one of the world's largest independent web hosting companies. It offers several shared hosting plans, with prices starting at a very attractive monthly cost. 

To sweeten the deal, all of InMotion's plans come with a ton of great free features that other services might charge extra for – think malware and DDoS protection, basic backups, 'spam-safe' email and a WordPress-based website builder (if you're looking at WordPress options specifically, take a look at our dedicated guide to the best WordPress hosting services).

InMotion offers both cPanel and Softaculous-powered hosting. In testing, InMotion’s overall performance levels ranked well above average. That’s great news for anyone who wants to see fast-loading websites (which is all of us, let's face it).

Technical features include PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python and PHP 7 support. InMotion provides both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, and easy-to-use integration with Google Apps. There's also excellent technical support available 24/7, all year round, for US-based users.

Overall, there's a lot to like here – and competitive pricing too. If you're not satisfied, there's a 90-day money-back guarantee, which knocks the 45-day industry standard out of the park. 

Best web hosting: Bluehost

02. Bluehost

The number one preferred partner of WordPress

Domains: 1 | Number of sites: 1-unlimited | Bandwidth: Unmetered | SSL: Included | Email addresses: 5-unlimited

Easy to use
Automated setup for WordPress

WordPress is still the most popular website builder, and Utah-based web hosting company Bluehost is WordPress’ preferred partner. Bluehost does a good job of balancing price and features for less experienced businesses, while offering lots of options for more advanced users. Its shared hosting packages start with a very reasonable 'basic' plan, targeted at home users.

WordPress plans are naturally more expensive, but there are discounted introductory rates available. With those, you get automated setup for WordPress, as well as other popular apps via a Mojo Marketplace-powered system. Plus, there’s a cPanel-based area, so if you know what you’re doing, you can tweak things.

Bluehost also gives you a free domain, and provides a free Weebly-based website builder to create a site up to six pages, although website templates aren’t included. And bear in mind that none of the plans include SSL, but certificates are available as an add-on.

With great customer support on offer too, this makes for powerful, feature-packed, user-friendly web hosting – with customisation options for the more demanding user. That said, people who don't want lengthy commitments might prefer HostGator's month-to-month options (see below).

Best web hosting: HostGator

03. HostGator web hosting

The best cheap web hosting option out there

Domains: 1-unlimited | Number of sites: Not specified | Bandwidth: Unmetered | SSL: Included | Email addresses: Unlimited

Great basic plan
No limits or restrictions
45-day money-back guarantee

When it comes to cheap web hosting, HostGator’s Hatchling plan is our top choice. The well-known Dallas-based company offers an impressive amount of unrestricted features in its basic Hatchling plan: there are no limits on bandwidth, web space, subdomains, MySQL databases, FTP and email accounts. 

There's also one-click WordPress installation, cPanel-based site management and a 99.9% 'uptime' guarantee covering both server and network failures; plus 24/7 customer support, and $100 (around £75) worth of Google and Bing Ads credits.

As you might expect with a cheap hosting plan, you can only operate one website on the Hatchling plan. And you won’t get a free domain name for a year, either. But we like the super-low pricing and the free transfers for new accounts within the first month after you’ve signed up. A 45-day money-back guarantee means that if you’re not happy with the service, you can cancel it.

Best web hosting: GoDaddy

04. GoDaddy

A good all-round service that's well-known, respected and trusted

Domains: 1-unlimited | Number of sites: 1-unlimited | Bandwidth: Unmetered | SSL: Higher plans only | Email addresses: 1, for first year

Decent performance
Easy-to-use website builder
cPanel-powered Linux hosting

US-based GoDaddy is one of the largest web hosting companies around. As one of the few that’s done television advertising, it’s probably the best known, too. Even its cheapest web hosting package comes with 100GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, and a free domain – with plenty of options due to GoDaddy's vast domain name repository. GoDaddy also boasts a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, free backup and restore, and expert hosting support available 24/7, all year round. 

One feature we particularly like is that on every package you can increase hosting capacity on demand directly from your account – handy if you experience a sudden surge in traffic.

Best web hosting: 1&1 IONOS

05. 1&1 IONOS

A solid offering from a major web hosting player

Domains: 1-3 | Number of sites: Not specified | Bandwidth: Unlimited | SSL: Wildcard SSL included | Email addresses: 25-500

Easy to use
Wildcard SSL included
Won't break the bank

In 2018, European hosting provider 1&1 joined forces with German cloud infrastructure specialist ProfitBricks and rebranded as 1&1 IONOS. 1&1 was already the biggest web hosting player in Europe, and this latest merger marks another step in its battle against GoDaddy for world domination. 

1&1 IONOS' cheapest Business package offers a first-year deal that will literally get you started for pennies. When your fee gets bumped up after 12 months, you'll probably be better switching to the Pro package the – the monthly cost is only slightly higher.

The freebies aren’t bad with this provider, although they're not as impressive as they once were. All packages offer a free domain for the first year, and performance and storage scale depending on which package you're using. If you want malware protection, you'll need to stump up for a Pro account. A helpful touch is that every customer is assigned a personal consultant, to offer advice and support via phone, email or chat.

Best web hosting: tsoHost

06. tsoHost

The best UK-based shared hosting service

Domains: 1 | Number of sites: 3-20 | Bandwidth: Unlimited | SSL: Included | Email addresses: 100-unlimited

Free daily backups
Flexible plans
Clear pricing

UK-based tsoHost offers flexible plans at very reasonable prices. You can choose from WordPress hosting, cPanel hosting or cloud web hosting. The cheapest 'Startup' plan is a bargain, and although it only offers 500MB storage, you also get access to unlimited bandwidth, Let’s Encrypt SSL and 10 mailboxes.

tsoHost's site proclaims 24-7 support – but actually, if you run into problems between the hours of midnight and 7am that support comes in the form of the ability to raise a problem ticket. The rest of the time there are people on phones and at the end of instant chat. Performance levels are solid, and there's a 30-day moneyback guarantee if you're not happy with the service.

(Image credit: kinsta)

07. Kinsta

WordPress hosting for small or large businesses

Domains: Not specified | Number of sites: Not specified | Bandwidth: Not specified | SSL: Yes | Email addresses: Not specified

Status checks every 2 mins
WordPress specialist
Focus on security

Kinsta is a web hosting service specialising in WordPress sites, with clients including the likes of Ubisoft, TripAdvisor and ASOS. Its features are focused around speed and security, using cutting-edge tech to ensure minimal load times, and active and passive measures to keep your site safe. The service checks the status of all its sites every two minutes, so you'll know immediately if your site goes down, and it also promises an 'outstanding' reaction time if something does go wrong. 

Best web hosting: Wix

07. Wix web hosting

The best website builder option

Domains: None (higher price plans offer 1 for a year) | Number of sites: 1 | Bandwidth: 1GB - unlimited | SSL: Included | Email addresses: None

Range of plans
Lots of powerful features
User-friendly interface
Over 500 templates

One of the best known web hosting services, Wix really shines when it comes to customisation options. There's a huge number of options to choose from, so you can fine-tune your site to meet your exact preferences. You're particularly spoilt for choice when it comes to templates: there are over 500 to choose from. 

If you're creating an ecommerce site there's good news here: Wix offers plenty of ecommerce-specific templates, and it won't levy transaction fees on your sales, either. The site editor is also nice and easy to use, and comes with lots of powerful features, including an integrated image editor.

Wix offers a range of plans, starting with a free option. With this you get limited bandwidth, storage capped at 500MB, and Wix branding on your site. The next level up is the popular Unlimited plan, which gives 10GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, and $75 worth of Google Ad vouchers.

How to choose the right web hosting service

Selecting the right web hosting service depends upon a number of factors, including your resource needs, performance demands, security requirements, cost constraints, server administration preferences and scalability expectations. 

So first, identify your needs. Do you have low, heavy or highly variable traffic? Do you need to minimise downtime or guarantee high availability? Do you want control over your server and its performance?

If you’re not bothered about any of those issues, you’ll probably be fine with shared hosting. If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might be better suited to VPS of dedicated hosting.

Shared web hosting

Shared web hosting means that your website will sit on the same server as many other sites. It’s the simplest type of hosting on the market, and it’s the cheapest too – it can cost as little as $1/£1 per month – because it comes with limited bandwidth, administration and performance capabilities. 

Think of it like a family data plan: responsibility is shared equally among users, and your monthly data needs don’t exceed the amount allotted in the plan. 

If your needs are pretty basic, shared web hosting is a great option. It's good for small websites and novices who don’t want the flexibility and customisation options of VPS or dedicated hosting.

VPS hosting

VPS hosting is a more premium option than shared hosting, giving you greater customisation options and increased performance. It costs more, but you get more bandwidth and private disk space, better performance, more safety features, and have full control when it comes to increasing or decreasing your data setup.

That's important if you’re anticipating that your website or creative business is going to grow. VPS hosting will enable you to deliver a user experience that goes beyond the basic shared hosting level.

Dedicated servers

A dedicated server is best suited to anyone looking to build complex websites that need to look after hundreds of users in a no-compromise environment. (Think Amazon.) It’s like having your own computer: you don’t have to share your space, power or resources with anyone else. Dedicated servers are usually the fastest and most powerful choices available, though some of the high-end VPS options can give the lower performing dedicated servers a run for their money – so check the specs.

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